Go-To Tools for Small Business RevisitedAnita Kirkbride
When Twirp Communications was just a baby company, toddling around in diapers, I wrote a couple of posts about the best social media tools for small business I had found. I thought it was about time I updated my lists and shared some of the newer tools we’re using to manage social media for our clients.
HootSuite (aff) is still our number one choice for managing, monitoring and streamlining our clients’ social media accounts. We use it daily for scheduling, monitoring keyword streams, catching brand mentions, and engaging on Twitter. For small businesses, Hootsuite offers a free version, and a free mobile app, with paid upgrades that are quite inexpensive. Don’t forget to install the Hootlet and/or HootSuite browser extension for even more functionality.
What I love about Freshbooks (aff) is the ability to set up recurring invoices that automatically go out on the first of each month. Because our social media management services are priced on a monthly retainer, automatic invoicing saves us a lot of time. With PayPal and other integrations, some of our clients even pay us faster! Of course, I also use the Android app on my phone to send invoices directly after person training sessions.
For a company that doesn’t require a lot of credit card processing, Square is the perfect option. If a personal training client wishes to pay on-the-spot, I can just produce an invoice on my phone and swipe their card through the reader that attaches via the earphone jack… assuming I remembered to bring it with me.
Facebook Advertising Grid Image Checker
If the 20% text rule for Facebook Promoted Posts is driving you silly wonky, this handy little tool will help you determine whether or not your image will be rejected. Used wisely you can also determine how to change your image just a bit to fit within the rules, sometimes.
Click to Tweet
This is a great tool for making your content easily shareable on Twitter. The easier you make it for your fans to share your content, the more likely they are to do so! Wanna see how that works? Click here to tweet that.
Zapier (aff) helps you automate some of the more mundane tasks on your to-do list. I use Zapier to send out automagical reminders to blog writers and for monthly meetings. The text never changes, so why should I have to type it every time? Fully integrated with some of my favourite tools (GMail, Google Calendar, Freshbooks, Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp, Dropbox), Zapier saves me a lot of time.
After trying a couple of other appointment scheduling systems, I finally settled on TimeTrade. It integrates with my Google Calendar, so it’s always up to date when a client clicks on it. No double bookings, no double calendars. Very easy to set up and customize.
I don’t use Boomerang a lot, but it’s there just in case. Boomerang integrates with GMail and works as a reminder service. When I do use it, it’s usually to bring an email conversation back to the top of my inbox for followup, e.g. when I find myself needing to repeatedly remind a client to pay their bill.
If you’ve got another favourite tool you use regularly, I’d love to check it out! Let me know in the comments.